An F-1 student who has maintained their status for an academic year and is in good academic standing may, in extreme circumstances, be eligible to apply for off-campus employment based on unforeseen economic hardship.

Economic hardship is defined as a “loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student, substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate, inordinate increases in tuition and/or living expenses.” (8CFR 214.2 (f)(9)(ii)F). 

A meeting with an International Center adviser is required to discuss options related to economic hardship. Applications are processed through the International Center and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services at a cost of $380—payable to Department of Homeland Security—and will take approximately three to four months for adjudication. Approvals are not guaranteed and are difficult to obtain.

Students applying for economic hardship must be in good academic standing at the time of application. 

All undergraduate students must hold a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.25, and all graduate students applying for economic hardship must have a GPA of at least 3.0.

You may access the Economic Hardship form here